The Goodreads blurb on the book:
Ted Hall is worried. He’s been sleepwalking, and his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer.
Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines, and the new acrobat’s frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.
Out in the city there are other new arrivals – immortals searching for an ancient power – a primal evil which, if unopposed, could destroy the world!
This book starts out in such awesome fashion, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to throw myself in to this urban fantasy.
It was evident, early, that there was a lot going on, and that the characters needed to be followed with care. I typically don’t mind a book that jumps around in time…some of the story taking place in the present, some of it in various periods in the past, so when I saw that this book was going to be of that genre that skipped around in time and place, I knew I’d be in for a wild ride.
And I was. And wild rides can be a lot of fun. But they can also be wild rides that leave your head numb instead of full of excitement and energy.
This book was a wild ride that left me numb.
There is an awful lot going on, and I read with painstaking care at first, to make sure I was following it. But nothing ever felt like it was actually releasing new information to me. Instead of a tease with something that would have me anxious to find out more, it simply kept plodding along, telling new parts of the story, but never felt like it was getting anywhere.
The jumping around to the past got old, fast. Instead of learning something vital to the story, it began to feel like an interlude simply to take our mind away from the action … as if we might be getting exhausted and needing a break.
But the biggest problem, I think, was the lack of buy-in to any of the characters. I wasn’t really sure who I was supposed to be following or caring about. The fact that almost every character had more than one identity and might be referred to by their mortal name or by their deity name, added to the (my) confusion. As I started to feel some sort of ‘attachment’ to a character, we’d either not see them for awhile, or they would continue on to doing something that would separate me from having any sort of empathy or care toward them.
The deeper I got in to this book, the more I felt that the weight of the story was suffocating the progress of the story. I think this is why author Adam Christopher took the time jaunts, but it hindered rather than helped.
The story-telling itself was dry and at one level. A lack of energy (except for the early bits with the opening chapter and the early circus portions) really sucked the wind out of this.
I really, really wanted to like this. An engaging beginning, a publisher that has done so many awesome books lately, and a story that seemed right up my alley, but instead, I struggled to get through it.
Looking for a good book? This one fails to break through the clutter it heaps upon itself.
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author: Adam Christopher
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 384 pages